Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston offered support for HC Dirk Koetter after Monday night’s loss to the Falcons.
“We love our head coach,” Winston said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Our head coach sets our morals. His main thing is (to) compete. You can see it through every one of those guys in there. Every time he steps up in a meeting and he puts a slideshow up of what our objective (is): ‘Passion, competitiveness, mental toughness.” He’s instilled that in us…when you’ve got a guy who comes back to work consistently like him – that’s why I love my coach and that’s why I was so disturbed that someone would try to bring up something to distract us. That just adds fuel to our fire in a way because we’ve got so much respect for our coaches – not just coach Koetter, but for our coaches on this team because they work their (butts) off. I just hate for them that the results of our play or the season is on them. Quite frankly it’s on the players. It’s us. We’ve got to play. Coaches just coach.”
- James Kratch of NJ.com writes that G Justin Pugh is the only realistic franchise tag candidate for the Giants next year. Although, Kratch says it’s “far from a certainty” whether the Giants will actually go this route.
- It would cost New York around $14.3 million fully guaranteed for the 2018 season to franchise Pugh.
- Some potential roster cuts for the Giants, according to Kratch, include QB Eli Manning, CB Janoris Jenkins, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, WR Brandon Marshall, WR Dwayne Harris, OL John Jerry, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, and DE Olivier Vernon.
- Kratch says that if the Giants are really open to moving on from Jenkins, they should attempt to trade him before seriously considering cutting him.
- One option for the Giants and Marshall could be a restructured contract that comes with a reduced salary and is a heavy incentive based deal, writes Kratch.
- Kratch tosses out WR Odell Beckham Jr. and S Landon Collins as two potential extension candidates worth watching this offseason.
- Patriots HC Bill Belichick didn’t rule out bringing back one of DT Vincent Valentine or WR Malcolm Mitchell from injured reserve with the designation to return. (Karen Guregian)
- Steelers HC Mike Tomlin announced that WR Antonio Brown (calf) will miss Week 16’s game against the Texans. (Ed Bouchette)
- Tomlin added that G Ramon Foster has been placed in the concussion protocol. (Joe Rutter)
- According to Gerry Dulac, Steelers CB Joe Haden will return and start in Week 16’s game against the Texans, barring setback.